The Erotic Mind-Control Story Archive

Chloe knows Dr Mitchell only wants the best for her, but is changing her entire personality really necessary?

Disclaimer: All characters are entirely fictional and all resemblances to anyone in real life is entirely coincidental. If you are under 18 or offended by sexual material, don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Diversion Tactics

By Sinistra

Part 2

‘I can’t believe you’re making me do this.’

‘Chloe, you’re beginning to sound like an impudent little girl. Mistress Sapphira demands a certain aesthetic, and you won’t be able to attend if you don’t fulfil it.’

‘B-but I can’t! What if people—my neighbours—I don’t even wa—’

‘Ifs and buts. Come along, I’m doing you a favour by offering you a ride, and I don’t want to make both of us late. Chloe? I don’t want to have to ask twice. Well? Take my hand . . .’

Chloe’s eyes peeped past the doorway, her nude legs jittering from one foot to another. She wished she didn’t have to go out like this—she wished she didn’t have to go out at all, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t find a good enough reason not to. The street was silent, and apart from Dr Mitchell there was no-one in sight. Cursing herself under her breath, she reached out and placed her hand in Dr Mitchell’s.

‘Good Girl.’

She let herself be led down the path, knowing she had no other choice. She wished she didn’t have to do this, but that was the funny thing with Doctor Mitchell, you just did what she said. There wasn’t much more to it than that, as far as Chloe could tell.

Chloe had received the phone call a few hours before, letting her know when Dr Mitchell would be picking her up. She gushed her assent, even though it had never occurred to her previously that she couldn’t just make her own way there. She supposed she was just that excited to go that she would have done anything—even though she couldn’t remember any specific reasons for wanting to go in the first place. She found that odd, but then again she was beginning to find a lot of things odd.

Even when she was asked to wear that special lingerie—and only that special lingerie, she didn’t hesitate to comply, even though the mere thought of wearing it in public made her physically cringe. The white floral lace barely covered her buttocks, and the thin strip of cotton that clung to her sex left very little to the imagination. The almost sheer fabric fitted around her waist and encased her bosom so tightly the pair was in constant danger of popping free. The outfit was obscene, inappropriate, and horribly impractical—but Chloe knew it wasn’t up to her, no matter how much she wanted to protest. She felt like she should be embarrassed, but the thought of it left her feeling strangely calm—only a troubling, vague idea of wrongness managed to cloud her peaceful acceptance. Surely there was some reason it was wrong . . . what if . . . uh, or—maybe—what if someone from work recognised her? That seemed an important enough reason at the time, but Dr Mitchell had just dismissed her like it was nothing. It wasn’t fair. I wasn’t fair she had to do all these disgusting things, get those nice heels, tease the bartender like that . . . but it wasn’t up to her, she knew that. Dr Mitchell had explained it all before. It was something to do with her subconscious, freeing herself from her inhibitions, letting go . . . or something. But she didn’t feel free. She knew there was something wrong, but if she didn’t want to free herself from whatever it was, then it was as simply as that? Wasn’t it? Over the past week Chloe had struggled to make sense of her situation but to no avail. How could she be so willing yet feel so trapped? There were times she questioned whether she would ever know the truth—but of course, Dr Mitchell was in control, and she knew best. She could trust Dr Mitchell. Chloe might not understand or even know her methods, but then again she wasn’t a trained hypnotherapist. If she was ever going to . . . going to . . . hang on—she needed to trust . . . because there was a phobia, a fear, she needed to remove the fear. For . . . herself . . . no, wait, her boyfriend was going to . . . propose. If only she could remember his name . . . damn, she would need Dr Mitchell to explain it all again . . . maybe slower this time . . .

‘Holy shit!’

An awful chill froze Chloe as she was dragged back into reality. She recognised the voice. She whipped around, her skin cold and her bones aching, feeling suddenly exposed as she saw him—Ben. He was holding up his phone, his mouth and eyes wide with disbelief. How many pictures had he taken? She felt herself grow cold. Oh no, not this, please not this—this was a nightmare—one of her own students, not even trying to disguise his wandering gaze, catching her on the street dressed like a wet dream. She wanted to tell him to stop, put his phone down, forget what he saw—but from the way his eyes traced over her body, seemingly memorising every curve, every supple swell of her boy, Chloe knew feeling sorry for his teacher was the last thing on his mind. She looked for Dr Mitchell, but she was in the car, she wasn’t paying attention, why . . .

Her mind began to swim, and she felt the sickly but familiar feeling of her knees growing weak and then that warm silky sensation melting away all her thoughts. Things didn’t seem all that weird anymore. Why did this always happen? Ben was still snapping pictures, and Chloe felt a growing heat between her thighs. ‘And who taught you to speak to your teachers that way?’ she chided playfully. God, she wished being such a tease didn’t make her so horny. Wait—no, that can’t be right.

Ben seemed as shocked by this response as Chloe herself would have done a few seconds ago. ‘Uh, sorry Miss, I never thought you were the kind of woman to —’ he gulped. ‘To—’

‘To take pride in my body? Why, you think I haven’t got things to be proud of?’ Chloe laughed as she squeezed her breasts together. Her nipples made cute little bumps under the lace as they grew shamelessly stiff. How can I be such a pervert? What the hell is wrong with me?

Ben’s eyes grew wide with disbelief. ‘I—uh, um . . . yes—I mean no—damn you’re sexy.’

‘What’s the hold up here?’ came a voice from the other side of the car. ‘Chloe, get in the car. And you, what’s your name?’ Dr Mitchell asked sternly.

‘Ben.’ he said, preoccupied by a very nice profile of Chloe’s behind as she climbed into the vehicle. He snapped a few more photos.

‘Ben, you’re going to delete those photos now, aren’t you? You wouldn’t want those to get out now, hey?’

‘Yeah . . . I mean, no, I wouldn’t. I’ll . . . delete them.’ Ben stammered, his brow furrowing.

‘Good. Hurry along now, chop chop.’ Dr Mitchell watched as Ben shook his head, that familiar look of confusion she had seen so many times before spreading across his face. She got in the car, where Chloe was sitting bolt upright in her seat, her face contorted in confusion and fright. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ she asked, looking at Dr Mitchell, desperation painting her already pained face.

Dr Mitchell stared straight ahead as she steered them onto the road. Her hand reached over and stroked Chloe’s knee soothingly. ‘You’ll find that wearing these sorts of outfits has that effect on people. You’ll have to get used to it.’ Dr Mitchell fought to keep her gaze off the delicate specimen to her side..

‘But I don’t want to get used to it!’ she whimpered. ‘I’m turning into a pervert. I can’t help it. I’m friends with his parents for pity’s sake. I’m a terrible, fucked up teacher.’

‘Shhhh, try not to worry about it.’

‘What? But—but . . . that doesn’t . . .’ Chloe’s expression softened. Suddenly she didn’t feel so bad. ‘Why are you always changing me? I don’t like it.’

Dr Mitchell’s expression remained blank. ‘I just want you to feel better, honey. I’m a doctor, you can trust me, you feel safe with me. You know I want the best for you, don’t you?’

Chloe nodded meekly. Why couldn’t she just trust Dr Mitchell? What was wrong with her?

‘Good Girl.’

* * *

Chloe’s ticket earned her a front row seat to the show. She walked in, not expecting to but still terrified that someone might recognise her. It was one thing being caught out in the open, but another entirely here, trapped in this . . . what was it? A lesbian club? The lack of men and the frankly scandalous displays of public affection heightened Chloe’s suspicions. She made her way through a sea of guests, trying to ignore the whispers and stares, completely alone. Dr Mitchell had left as soon as they reached the lobby, and Chloe was sure she had given a reason, but couldn’t remember it for the life of her.

‘Wow! And what might your name be?’

Chloe felt an arm on her shoulder, and then she turned around to where a stunning asian woman wearing a black cocktail dress and the most incredible pair of earrings she had ever seen was smiling at her.

‘Chloe.’ she managed. Why did she feel so strange?

‘Nice to meet you, I’m Lily.’ The woman looked around quickly, and then began to gently move her hand down until her fingers were sending little sparks of pleasure across her breast, and Chloe looked around in despair, this really wasn’t normal, and she opened her mouth to protest-

‘Where’s your owner, Chloe?’

‘I-I . . . I don’t have . . .’ Chloe managed.

‘It’s not good to be out without your owner.’ Lily continued, rubbing her thumb in slow circles around Chloe’s nipple through the lace.

Chloe’s hands clenched and trembled and her wide eyes darted around, pleaded for someone to notice, to save her, to—‘Dr Mitchell!’ she groaned. ‘I can’t . . . I can’t remember . . .’

Lily gasped and then broke out in laugher. She pinched Chloe’s nipple before putting her hand back by her side. ‘Girl, you are in for a treat tonight! Make sure to ask for Lily Xiu once the show is over, yeah?’

As if. ‘Right, right. I . . . I think the show is starting.’ Chloe mumbled, Lily’s laughter echoing in her mind as she stumbled her way into the theatre. A large set of seats swept across the room in front of a crescent stage. She took her place to the left of a slim, short-haired brunette with a petite figure and a cute retrousse nose. As soon as she sat down the girl piped up. Chloe’s head reeled.

‘Hi! My name’s Felicity, I used to be one of Mistress Sapphira’s clients. Have you ever seen her live before?’ she struck out her hand.

Chloe shook it politely. Something felt off. ‘Hi Felicity, nice to meet you. I’m Chloe. I’ve been seeing Dr Mitchell for several weeks, she helped with my . . .’ a panicked edge crept into Chloe’s voice as she struggled to remember what she wanted to say. ‘My . . . I had a problem. She fixed it.’ Phew.

Felicity nodded enthusiastically, her earnest smile surprisingly soothing. ‘She’s wonderful. I’ve been a smoker all my life—up until a few weeks ago I was on two packs a day—three visits with Mistress, and I’ve been clean ever since! No urges, nothing! She really is as extraordinary as they say. Oh, oh, hush! Here she comes!’

At least one of us got a successful treatment, Chloe mused.I can’t even remember what I visit her for anymore, and now I’m forced to act like a whore all the time. Just my luck.

A low drum roll precipitated a tall burst of smoke from the centre of the stage, tinted violet and glittering with pretty lights. The room held its breath. The smoke dissipated to reveal Dr Mitchell—No, her glasses were gone, here stood something beautiful, divine—Mistress Sapphira! She was still the dark, vibrant beauty Chloe knew, but something radiated, glowed in her tonight. Chloe stared in slack-jawed wonder. Mistress Sapphira’s hair was pushed back by a silver tiara, a spectacular Sapphire crowning the headpiece. She wore a pair of azure knee-high boots which glimmered as she walked. Clinging to her voluptuous form, a similarly brilliant blue leotard encrusted with faintly glittering gems did a fantastic job of accentuating her wide hips and thighs. Her lips were a deep sea blue, a sea Chloe would happily drown in—if she was a lesbian, of course. Which she wasn’t. The theatre exploded in a frenzied applause. Chloe struggled to take it all in. Wow! Her Doctor had transformed into a Goddess, a Queen of the Ocean, Mistress Sapphira! Chloe heard a faint whimper to her side, but her eyes were glued to the Mistress as she stood there, proud and erect, holding the audience entranced as the whooping, clapping, and screaming died down.

‘Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen! I thank you all so much for coming tonight—but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.’

The audience murmured a chuckle. Chloe struggled to remember what had been said.

‘A wonderful show I have planned here for you, something truly special. Now, before we begin, this will not follow the usual structure of one of my shows, but I assure you it will be just as enjoyable. I know many of you know me only as Mistress Sapphira, but recently I have gone by a different name. After the wonderful reception I have received over my career, I thought—why not give something back? Why not bring my skills to the public? And so I settled in Coanshire as a hypnotherapist. My clients know me as Dr Mitchell . . .’ Her eyes gleamed. ‘Where are my lovely ladies?’

Chloe felt powerless as her arm floated upwards, slowly extending towards the ceiling. Please don’t pick me please please don’t pick me

Mistress Sapphira’s gaze wandered along the front row, savouring the evening’s delights. Their placement was no accident, and it made choosing an appetiser all the more convenient.


Mistress Sapphira’s eyes narrowed. She walked towards Chloe, her gaze intense, terrific. She owned the stage with a predatory, feline stride. Chloe shivered. The Mistress was in front of her now, and OhGodOhGodpleasenotme she extended a finger and beckoned and some part of Chloe so desperately wanted to -

Felicity giggled with glee and jumped up onto the stage. Chloe was safe. She released a breath she didn’t know she had been holding, and in a brief moment of clarity she was overcome with a hopeless realisation. Coming here was a mistake. She should have known better. If Mistress had chosen her, she knew she would have been utterly powerless before that intoxicating gaze and that velvety voice. It was one thing to embarrass herself in front of Dr Mitchell, someone she knew she could trust, but another to humiliate herself in front of a crowd—and it seemed her nightmare was dangerously close, lapping at the shore of her reality. She wasn’t strong enough to stop the tide, not now. She just had to let the waves wash over her, make it to the end of the show, not get chosen by The Mistress.

When Mistress Sapphira spoke, Chloe’s felt her mind become enveloped in that lush, warm feeling and suddenly her train of thought was washed away. ‘Felicity. Please make your way to the stage. Everyone give Felicity a round of applause.’

Chloe found herself clapping as the whole theatre erupted into noise. Felicity was taller than Mistress Sapphira, but she seemed frail and twitchy in comparison to the strong, graceful movements of the Hypnotist. Felicity’s shining golden hair, pale skin, and scarlet dress were a vibrant contrast to Mistress’ Sapphire aesthetic, but she was no less beautiful. She sat down on a stool and crossed her legs. A stage assistant pushed a piece of apparatus onto the stage, a large metal frame with two large purple curtains hanging perpendicular to the rows of the audience, dividing the three stools already standing on the stage. Felicity took her place on the audience’s right.

‘Felicity dear, thank you so much for coming tonight.’

The slim woman smiled. ‘Thank you.’.

‘Can you explain when we first had the pleasure of meeting?’

‘Well,’ she began, squeezing her shoulders together, ‘I needed to find someone who could help with my smoking addiction. My partner’s a smoker too, so he didn’t get it, but he was the one who suggested hypnotherapy. Honestly I didn’t believe it would work but . . . I think the results speak for themselves. I’ve been clean for four weeks!’

Mistress Sapphira raised both eyebrows and began to clap slowly, and the theatre wasted no time in doing the same, much to the embarrassment of Felicity who squirmed on her stool, suppressing an embarrassed smile. ‘Thank you so much Felicity; it’s been fantastic working with you.’ She wafted a hand and the clapping hushed. ‘Now you can just stay right there while I bring on my second lovely lady.’ Then Mistress Sapphira bent down and whispered something slowly softly in Felicity’s ear, before her face became dazed and confused, her eyes shut and head lolled forward. Mistress strode forwards to the front of the stage, and tossed back her hair. ‘Now, I’m looking for a very special woman, one who I’m sure would say they’d gained a lot from our sessions, but whose greatest feeling comes from that which they lost. Eve, please make your way to the stage!’

A small gasp came from the centre of the row, and a short, plump woman with brunette hair ran up onto the stage and almost fell into The Mistress’ embrace, who greeted her with two swift kisses on each cheek. She guided Eve onto the centre stool, who eagerly jumped and nestled onto it, holding her hands in her lap. She was wearing a pair of denim shorts, a white strapless top, and a bright smile.

Mistress Sapphira placed a hand on Eve’s shoulder, relishing in the almost imperceptible squeal that burst forth as soon as she touched skin, and the speckle of goosebumps that followed. ‘So Eve,’ she began, ‘You won’t mind if I give a brief overview of our relationship before we begin?’

Eve shook her head earnestly.

‘Wonderful. Eve and I first acquainted a few month ago, after one of my shows. She was desperately lacking in self-confidence, and in fact her situation first inspired—guided me towards hypnotherapy. After a few sessions I uncovered the root of her anxiety. It was weight. Those . . . cravings for junk food, chocolate, sugar, wreaked havoc on Eve’s self-esteem. Temptation holds a terrible power—but not too much for Mistress Sapphira!’

Chloe felt herself shiver upon hearing Her name, the lightly trilled notes of Sapphira sending delicious tingles across her skin.

‘So we worked together for several months, disentangling the sticky stubborn web of . . . powerlessness that Eve had found herself stuck in . . .’

By this point in the performance Mistress Sapphira was leaning over Eve, both hands gently rubbing her shoulders. Fully aware of the effect she was having on the poor woman, Mistress Sapphira kept talking and kept rubbing as Eve’s eyelids struggled valiantly to keep open as she melted into the touch of The Mistress.

‘. . . so incredibly proud of her. Eve is 15 pounds healthier, and I’m sure she’s never been happier either. Isn’t that right?’

‘Mm . . . uh, y-yeah . . .’

‘Well done Eve, you’ve been perfect. Sleepy time.’ Mistress Sapphira stabilised the woman as she rocked forwards, groaning in what sounded almost like relief, suddenly displaying all the integrity of a wet noodle.

‘But I still need one more volunteer! Can I find a good girl willing to help me out?’

Chloe heard someone cry out, and suddenly her hand shot in the air and she realised the voice had been hers. She whimpered in confusion, but there was nothing she could do. It was Mistress, after all.

Mistress Sapphira looked down at her with a blend of love and pity. ‘There you are. Everybody, please welcome Chloe to the stage!’

The audience erupted in applause. Chloe tried to scream and hide beneath her seat but she found herself standing up, and then she was walking along the front of the stage with her eyes forward, terrified to make eye contact. She felt a thousand eyes drilling into her. Chloe tried to take comfort in the slight shred of modesty afforded in the flimsy white layer of lace that clung to her erogenous zones, but some rational part of her mind made her terribly aware that this only served to accentuate and display that which it pretended to conceal.

It seemed an agonizing lifetime before she was finally helped her way onto centre-stage by Mistress Sapphira. The dazzling lights spun around her and the noise became louder and louder and then before she knew it there was silence. thiscantbehappeningthiscantbehappeningmakeitstoppleasemakeitstop

‘Chloe darling, you have been my favourite project.’

The words seemed to echo and reverberate, and Chloe found herself unable to focus on the actual words, and instead the sounds blended and mushed and spun as a feeling of hopelessness settled in. Why do I feel like this?

‘I think your transformation has been the most fascinating and incredible to be a part of, and I thank you for letting me be a part of your story. Now—only you know yourself as well as you do, and so I hope you wouldn’t mind talking a little about our time together.’

Chloe took a deep breath and took her bearings. She was sitting on a stool. Mistress’ voice was coming from behind her, but she couldn’t turn her head to see. She couldn’t be forced to speak, right? She didn’t have-

‘Speak up, that’s it. Good Girl.’

‘I came to see Dr Mit—Madam Sapphira’ she blurted out, ‘to help with my phobia.’ I can’t help it. There’s nothing to be done. A rising panic began to set in before a thought hit her. Surely they see me. Surely they see me up here . . . tortured, against—what, my will? Someone will stop the show, call the police—or something, when they realise what’s going on. It’s only a matter of time.

‘What was your phobia, sweetheart?’

Chloe stared straight ahead. ‘It . . . doesn’t matter, right?’ Silence. Was that the wrong thing to say? She heard a sharp intake of breath behind her. Thinking about it, it didn’t sound right.

‘Surely you remember? The trip to Japan? Or was it Malta?’

‘Ah yeah. I . . . uh, I had been to Japan—’

‘Chloe, are you sure you’re alright. You told me Malta.’ Mistress said softly.

‘What?’ Chloe trembled.

‘It was Malta, and your boyfriend was planning it. He was going to propose, if I remember correctly.’

Chloe cringed. How fucking dozy! Her own . . . her own . . . how could she forget something so important? She felt the immense weight of judgement from the entire audience, it was crushing, it was . . . oh God, it was awful! It didn’t help that she didn’t even feel too bad about it. How terrible that she didn’t even feel shame? How heartless, how . . . how . . . it was awful, of course—but on reflection, Chloe saw it as a little bit childish; feeling shameful just because she felt she should. That was silly. It couldn’t be that important, if she had to be reminded about it, whatever ‘it’ was. That made sense. ‘Yeah. That was it. So um, my phobia, of, uh . . .’


‘Yes, thank you Mistress, that was it. So I visited Dr Mitch—Mistress Sapphira. She tried to explain the process to me, but I don’t think I really understood—I’ll admit, I still don’t. After our first session I bought the next couple of sessions in advance.’ A sickening sense of foreboding was rising in her chest, as judging from the earnest and eager faces of the audience no one seemed to sense her discomfort. Chloe would have thought displaying herself in trashy lingerie before an entire theatre would be a clear enough message that something wasn’t right but . . . no. What sort of degenerate audience could just sit here and watch her and not think to do anything about it? Running her hands frantically down her thighs she prepared herself for what she had to do. It made her want to scream, to thrash around and cry, but she needed to be strong—for the alternative: being trapped, forced to behave in a way that was not her own, with no hope of freedom—was inconceivable. She just hoped Mistress would understand, but even more, hoped that someone in the audience would pick up on her pain, help her out of this mess. She gripped the sides of the stool, trying to create a steely resolve she desperately needed.

‘I—I came back next week. I—’ Chloe gulped, her breathing shaky. ‘I sat down, and then Mistress—I was wearing a skirt, I couldn’t remember why. I usually wear trousers. I think. Then she told me to, um, lift up my skirt and, uh, show her . . . show her . . .’

She felt warm breath tingle on her ear. ‘Spill, sweetheart.’

Chloe trembled. ‘My pussy! I . . . I couldn’t help myself. I tried—Oh God, I tried, but I just had to. I don’t know.’ She scanned hopefully for a sympathetic pair of eyes among the crowd, but all she saw was a sea of hard blank stares. ‘I felt . . . powerless. I knew it was wrong. I know it was wrong. But that didn’t matter.’ Another warm breath on her ear.

‘And how did it make you feel? Be honest.’

Chloe felt something inside her shift. If only that voice wasn’t so lovely. ‘Please don’t make me.’ Chloe whimpered under her breath. She knew it was too late. How did it make you feel? she heard echo, unsure of whether Mistress’ voice was being projected by speakers or by some psycho-auditory conditioning.

‘Be Honest.’

Chloe shivered, sweat breaking out on her brow. Don’t fail me now don’t fail me now If she was ever going to get out, if someone was going to notice or call the police or something she had to be taken seriously. She couldn’t let—Good Girl ‘Horny.’ she wailed. ‘I . . . I knew I should feel embarrassed, but—oh God—I don’t know what came over me’ Chloe’s breath came in ragged gasps as the words spilled out of her uncontrollably. A thousand pair of eyes looked ahead, unconvinced. ‘I was confused, dazed, I-It was, it felt, uh, it felt nice, her hand on my thigh, but—’

A few bubbles of laughter burst out across the theatre as she confessed.

‘It wasn’t like I could help it!’ she protested. Another wave of laughter rolled out from the audience, and her heels clacked on the stage floor and she stamped down indignantly. ‘Stop it! Stop it, please!’

From behind her Mistress Sapphira waved her hands down, winking. She clasped Chloe’s bare shoulders with warm hands. ‘Hush child, that’s enough. I’m sure the theatre realises exactly the extent of your feelings without you having to spell it out.’

A spell of laughter broke out from the audience and reverberated inside Chloe’s mind. What did Mistress mean? A small part of her knew. She began to bring her knees together, but Mistress Sapphira’s soft hands guided them further apart. All she could do was watch.

‘Now now, no hiding the truth from Mistress Sapphira.’

Chloe cried out, the cool air tantalising on her sticky thighs. The laughter was deafening. It was all happening so fast. Surely . . . surely not . . . ‘Noooo . . .’ she moaned as her knees spread wider, revealing the sticky mess between her legs. Chloe could only look on in horror as Mistress Sapphira dragged her hands up her thighs until her fingers were playing with the edge of her lacy white panties. A lazy finger traced a line down the smooth furrow that had formed where her pussy pressed against the fabric. It was soaked. ‘This can’t be legal.’ She muttered. The audience burst out in laughter, colouring Chloe’s cheeks, to everyone else, an adorable crimson.

Mistress Sapphira suddenly retracted her finger, eliciting a surprised cry from Chloe. ‘A round of applause for our three lovely volunteers!’ She declared, and suddenly there was a great whooping, cheering, incoherent noise and the audience was terrifyingly alive and-

‘Sleep now.’ Mistress Sapphira felt every muscle in Chloe stiffen, then relax and slacken. The poor girl was so warm and so clammy, although whether it was the heat or the nerves or the harsh lights or a combination of the three wasn’t clear. She began to stroke her fingers through the hair on Chloe’s scalp, up to where her hair was tied up neatly in a bun.

Mistress Sapphira eyed the theatre, her stare cutting through the noise. When they were silent she continued. ‘When I first began I was on my best behaviour, I swear.’ Then, smiling devilishly, ‘But old habits die hard. I felt the young, vulnerable women who came to me calling to me. Calling for something more. I realised I had to help these women, in ways they may not realise they needed. Felicity, Eve, and Chloe all came to me, not just looking for a quick fix for their problems—but for meaning. I knew I had to be the one to find it. For them.’

Mistress Sapphira stalked across the stage, til she was standing over Felicity, gently feeling her cheek.

‘I could of course have simply purged the root of Felicity’s addictive personality. But that wouldn’t be very fun for me . . . or you either. And then there’d be no show. I got thinking—wouldn’t it be a kindness, wouldn’t it would be smoother and easier to merely divert that train, instead of destroying it. Send it down parallel tracks. What if I made sure Felicity found herself addicted to another sensation entirely?’